Today we’ll explore how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole their prospects.
Most successful professionals use a series of information-based ads that build emotion with a call to action. This is much more effective than standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into developing a high impact (and often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.
Here are some ways to create and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:
- Formulate a short report that you will automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and your specialties. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success;
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads;
- Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered;
- Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure the information provided is pertinent to your target market and any featured speakers are respected and well-known in the industry;
- Buy an existing business, introduce improved marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business;
- Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones;
- Use direct mail marketing to expand your business;
- Create a database of previous customers and send them new information;
- Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty or referral programs, or others;
- Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field;
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers and/or clients;
- Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area;
- Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable;
- Organize seminars that your customers and/or clients will pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package;
- Approach local newspapers by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio;
- Develop a weekend or destination seminar for customers and/or clients. Not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, but also provides your customers and/or clients a tax-deductible business adventure;
- Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program;
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors, or management;
- Be proactive with your marketing plan;
- Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment;
- Be willing to bring on new clients at a loss initially, as it will likely pay off later;
- Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses;
- Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to compensate them for referrals or shared databases;
- Offer loaner products to replace equipment that is to be repaired or refurbished;
- Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck;
- Continually consider what new products and/or services you can offer to current customers and/or clients;
- Develop a mail order division of your company;
- Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers and/or clients you were both unsuccessful in landing;
- Use alternate marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers and/or clients with new offers and goodies;
- Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for stale inventory.
So as you can see, there are at least 30 great ways to market to other professionals and businesses. Some additional great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
- Get involved you in your community through volunteering or donating to local events, etc.;
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year;
- Join a local, state or regional professional association for further networking opportunities;
- Become a board member of a local organization.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing. There are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers and/or clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham
If you’re not sure where to start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers and/or clients, and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, reach out to me to get the proper tools and resources to boost your business to the next level.